Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Squeeky Bum Time.

News Producers... Need i say more...? Well i'll show 'em. This week you may be aware that yours truly is covering the Olympic Torch relay around our green and soggy land, on the behest of the BBC. Long days screaming around the countryside with your hair on fire and smoke eminating from every car tire.

Squeeky bum time... Will your hero make it...?  'Course he will.

Not only that, our producers have given us cameramen the  herculean task of flitting between one overcrowded destination to another, with little time in between. ( Usually 3 locations per cameraman, per day. ) This can be a tiresome task on normal news gathering days, but when your next location is potentially filled with around 40.000 people... that's right... FORTY THOUSAND..! and their cars, it can fill a cameraman with the fear of God that he won't be making to his next filming location.

This almost happened to your intrepid torch bothering lensman today when i was required to drive between Winchester and Andover, with an hour to do it in. Piece of piss did i hear at the back...? Well, please bear in mind that me and my van were in competition with thousands of other people and cars who wanted to leave Winchester at the same time... So it took me 20 minutes just to get out of the car park.

Now, one thing you need to know about us lens slingers, we know short cuts. Routes that only us, tramps and policemen will know. So thanks to a little knowledge of backroads and a willingness to drive down a one way street the wrong way, can save a little time and the ire of your news producer who i know is doing this just to test me. I'm sure they look on a map, see that locations are only three inches apart and say "No problem... It's not that far..."

Driving to Andover... 'twas a piece of piss.

So as i arrive in Andover with 3 minutes to spare and abandon the van on double yellows. I run into the town centre leaving a trail of Grannies and small children in tears behind me. I turn on the camera and hit record... just as the Olympic Torch rounds the corner and hoves into view. Quite simply i had around a spare 5 seconds or so, or i would have missed it.

So there you go, news producers of this world... Give it your best shot. It's like water off a ducks back. Speaking of which, it's still raining from time to time here in good old Blighty. Looky here... I'll prove it.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.